Pre-conference Workshops

Mapping On the Ground – First Step in Revitalising the Commons

Any effort at conservation and natural resource management must be based on a sound and accurate understanding of the ground realities – natural resources indigenous to an area, their distribution, availability, accessibility and traditional methods of resource utilisation etc. Comprehensive representation of all this information is typically done through resource maps. Mapping exercises in several developmental projects often commence in a top-down fashion where pre-existing Survey of India or Google Earth maps are used as a starting point, Government or other agency data is then collected and mapped using software platforms such as GIS and in some cases groundtruthing is done on the field. There is a certain level of preconception built into this exercise. In addition the tool (software) dictates the mapping activity.

This workshop proposes to look at mapping as a bottom-up activity. Real-life experience of mapping work carried out by the Anthra team in Chittoor and Medak district will be shared with the participants. Papers, sketch-pens / pencils will be used as a starting point to map information provided in the case study. Having mapped the information on paper, participants could debate on appropriate software / other presentation tools that could be used to most optimally represent this information.

The case study has been developed based on indigenous, local information collected through discussions with village elders, livestock herders and pastoralists in Anthra's project area. Experiential information about resource distribution gained through traditional knowledge of plants and other resources is factored into the mapping exercise which is only possible through a bottom-up approach.

The workshop will also discuss the multifarous role of accurate and appropriate mapping in master planning and designing appropriate interventions in revitalising common areas. The workshop aims at sharing with the participants that – One needs to know what to conserve where before planning for for conservation. The inherent value, economics and appropriate models of governance of commons must be based on knowing what is / was on the ground.

Resourcepersons (tentative list)
Dr Radha Gopalan, Dr Sagari R Ramdas, Dr Nitya S Ghotge, Mr Sanyasi Rao, Ms Rajamma,
Mr Apparao

Supporting Organization/s
ANTHRA, Pune (ANTHRA is an organization of women veterinary scientists working primarily on issues of livestock development in the wider context of sustainable natural resource use)